• Hotel Savoy

Director and ProducerZohar Wagner (”Zorki”, ”Doll”, ”Stretch Marks”, ”A Tale of Two”, ”21 Days inside”) / Israel 2022

Genre: Hybrid Film / Fiction-Docu

Category: Action / Women’s Discrimination / Mediation / History / Terrorism / Israel-Palestine Conflict / Middle-East

Co-Producers: Dorit Hakim-Kramer, Itay Akirav

Produced for Kan Israeli Public Broadcast Corporation (IPBC)
Coproduced with ARTE/RBB, Germany

* The film was acquired by Netflix Israel

Cast: Dana Ivgy, Ala Dakka (”Fauda”), Imri Biton, Jalal Masrwa, Nehad Rada
Language: Hebrew, Arabic

Subtitles: English, French

Length: 78 minutes

A young housewife becomes a fearless hostage mediator, only to be defamed, in this gripping tale of a Tel Aviv terrorist siege. In a new hybrid documentary, filmmaker Zohar Wagner tells the story of Kochava Levy, the forgotten heroine of the deadly 1975 Savoy Hotel terror attack in Tel Aviv.

On a deadly March 1975 night, PLO gunmen enter the Savoy Hotel, seizing hostages and demanding release of Palestinian prisoners. Among the captives is Kochava Levy, a young woman of Yemini descent, whose fluency in Arabic allowed her to relay messages between IDF negotiators and the terrorists. Over the course of one night, she transformed herself into a fearless heroine. The film intertwines rare archival materials that were never released as well as re-enacted scenes from the night of the attack.

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Festivals & Awards:

AegeanDocs International FF 2023: Best Foreign Film Award: Jury Statement:

for its complete narration of the incidents that took place in a Tel Aviv hotel during the release operation of hostages held by the PLO Fedayeen, which ended in a bloodshed with a number of victims and for the artistically honest depiction of the main characters and their contradictions. This award is a wish for filmmakers in Israel and Palestine to continue working for the promotion of peace and human dignity..”

Jerusalem FF 2022: Israeli Documentary Competition: Best Director Award: Jury Statement:

“A combination of fascinating documentary footage and excellent scripted scenes, recreating a tragic historical event and reestablishes a brave woman’s reputation.”

Jerusalem FF 2022: Israeli Competition: Best Editing Award (Nili Feller and Shauly Melamed): Jury Statement:

“The editing skillfully blends the real and the imaginary, and maintains dynamism and a steady rhythm throughout the film.”


Movie Reviews:

* « It perfectly combines professional and amateur archives, snippets of television news programs with staging, keeping the viewer tense from start to finish. » Krzysztof Gierat, Director of Krakow Film Festival

* « This is a very good film. A must see at SBIFF. » SAVOY Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2023 / Steve Kopian / Unseen Films

* « If you’re interested in women’s stories told honestly, then you should absolutely see Savoy. Zohar Wagner gives Kochava Levy the biopic she deserves. Please check the documentary out as soon as possible.» SAVOY / Lorry Kikta / Film Threat

* « It really is a female-empowering film, and it focuses more on the heroine of the story … and how she was basically treated as scum by the press after this event. » PJFM’s Lindy Springfest Brings Features, Shorts From Israel and Elsewhere to the Weitzman / Stephen Silver / Jewish Exponent

* « Fast-paced, stylish, and positively engrossing.» Lindy Springfest 2024 / The Weizman National Museum of American Jewish History

* « Wagner’s film may be a documentary-slash-dramatisation of a historical event, but its sentiment is still incredibly relevant today.» Savoy: UK Jewish Film Review / Claire Fulton / Loud And Clear Reviews

* « Nearly 50 years later, Zohar Wagner’s film serves to set the record straight, ensuring that Levy is no longer a footnote. Utilizing a synchronistic blend of archival footage, audio recordings, news reports, journal entries and reenactments, this engrossing film reframes the fateful night in 1975 from the perspective of its forgotten heroine. » Savoy / San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

* « New archival material, riveting reenactments, and stunning direction and editing bolster Dana Ivgy’s sympathetic yet complex portrayal of the heroine who used language and humanity to connect with the enemy. » Savoy / Miami Jewish Film Festival

* « The film is exceptionally good. There were many hostage incidents that were more ambiguous and those tend to be forgotten. The fascinating new docudrama by Zohar Wagner, Savoy, looks at one such complicated siege that took place in 1975. Wagner has chosen to tell this story from many interesting angles and it is the opposite of a straightforward TV movie-type film. Savoy also raises interesting questions about ethnicity, class and stereotypes, and will make you think about what has and hasn’t changed in the past few decades. » Thought-provoking ‘Savoy’ examines Tel Aviv hotel siege in 1975 / Hannah Brown / Jerusalem Post
* « Zohar Wagner's film work stands as a monument to the memory of Kochava Levy and is built in her image: brave, poetic, liberated and knows exactly what she is doing. Wagner is building up the tension and describing the drama, and also puts emphasis on the human design of the characters, including the terrorists, and especially on framing this story within a political and social context. Savoy is "Die Hard" with a gender and ethnic consciousness. It is rare for a Hollywood studio to put action films in the hands of a woman, and in Israeli cinema it is even rarer, so Wagner breaks new ground here. She marks herself as the Israeli answer to Kathryn Bigelow. » Avner Shavit / E-Walla (hebrew)
* « The dramatic reenactments and the archival footage are complemented by audio recordings from the night of the attack, captured on tape by a recording enthusiast who was behind the hotel during the incident. Pieced together, they paint a picture of a young woman who attempted to save lives by connecting to her kidnappers on a human level. » The forgotten heroine of the deadly 1975 Savoy Hotel terror attack / Amy Spiro / Times of Israel
* Promo Video: i24news (Français)

* « Dans son nouveau docufiction, la réalisatrice Zohar Wagner raconte l'histoire de Cochava Levy, l'une des otages de l’attaque terroriste de l’hôtel Savoy à Tel Aviv en 1975, qui a joué le rôle d’intermédiaire entre les preneurs d’otages et Tsahal. » CULTURE | "Savoy": l’héroïne oubliée de l’attaque terroriste de l’hôtel Savoy à Tel Aviv/ Valérie Abecassis / i24news (Français)


Director's Statement:
''Savoy'' is a film about a woman who faced a horrible bloody situation and fearlessly communicated with armed enemies, exercising feminine empathy, compassion, and wisdom. And yet, she was never awarded and only condemned. Being reluctant to tell the truth - what was she doing at the day use hotel - the next day journalists reported that Kohava Levy was a prostitute entertaining a client at the hotel. "Time" magazine described her as: "A petite, black-haired prostitute who picked up some Arabic in the streets." More strict standards of sexual behavior are applied to a woman than to a man. We tend to forgive a man who cheated on his wife, especially if he was a brave soldier, but we do not excuse a traitorous woman. Kohava is a complex, multi-layered heroine. She betrayed her husband and as a result, became entangled in endless lies.